London

Campaigner who ousted Tower Hamlets' mayor to run for office

(left to right) Angela Moffat, Andy Erlam and Azmal Hussein Image copyright PA
Image caption Andy Erlam (centre) said more inquiries into the fraud case were needed

A writer and film-maker who led a successful legal fight to oust an east London mayor is to run for office.

Lutfur Rahman was ordered to step down as mayor of Tower Hamlets and a poll was declared void after he was found guilty of electoral fraud.

Four voters alleged he used "corrupt and illegal practices" in last year's election, which must now be re-run.

Andy Erlam, who led the group against Mr Raham, said he would stand for mayor in a new election on June 11.

"Many people have asked me to stand," said Mr Erlam.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Lutfur Rahman was told by the Election Commissioner he would be "incapable" of standing in the new election

"It's the chance in our lifetimes to change everything for the better."

Mr Erlam, who has also stood for election to Tower Hamlets Council on an anti-corruption ticket, said he would be backed in his fight to be mayor by an "anti-corruption" party called Red Flag.

Labour has selected John Biggs, its defeated candidate in last year's Tower Hamlets mayoral election, to fight the re-run contest for them.

Mr Rahman was found "personally" guilty of wrongdoing and "guilty by his agents" by Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey, who sat as a judge at an Election Court trial.

Mr Erlam has described the ruling as "fantastic for democracy", but said more inquiries were needed and has urged police to investigate, calling on prosecutors to consider bringing criminal charges.

Mr Rahman said there was "little, if any" evidence of wrongdoing against him.

His lawyers described the group of four's claims as invention, exaggeration and "in some cases downright deliberately false allegations".

Mr Rahman was not in court to hear Mr Mawrey's verdict.

But he said the judgment had come as a "shock", and is taking further legal advice.

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